Erbil criminal court sentences two journalists to 6 years in prison


The Erbil Criminal Court sentenced two journalists to six years in prison for trying to overthrow the government.

Press Freedom Advocacy Association has learned fromthe journalists’ lawyers Asso Hashem that SherwanShirwani and Kohdar Zebari, as well as activists Shafan Saeed, Ayaz Karam and Herwan Issa, were sentenced to death under articles 47 and 48 of the Iraqi Penal Code on charges of trying to overthrow the government.

The lawyer indicated that he was in the process of cassating the sentence.

The Press freedom Advocacy Association was astonished at the adaptation of the charge to political articles related to the overthrow of the government, and considers the articles and publications of journalists to be part of the freedom of expression guaranteed constitutionally, and that the origin of their detention constitutes a flagrant constitutional violation.

The association calls on the federal government to press the regional government to prevent the registration of prisoners of opinion in Iraq, which occupies the world’s lowest rankings for the freedom of journalistic work.

The Association also pleads the international community to press the regional government to stop intimidating and abusing journalists.

The two journalists were arrested nearly five months ago in connection with popular protests against living conditions in several parts of Kurdistan.

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